Statistis for Psy
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APPENDIX A: Statistics for Psychology Much of psychological research involves measuring observations of particular characteristics of either a population, or a sample taken from a population. These measurements yield a set of values or scores, and this set represents the findings of the research, or data. Often, it is impractical to completely measure the characteristics of a given population, known as parameters, directly. Thus, psychologists often focus on the characteristics of samples taken from a population. These characteristics are called statistics. The psychologist then uses these sample statistics to make inferences about population parameters. In this section we will focus on a type of statistics known as descriptive statistics. We will begin with an examination of three methods of describing a set of data using scores that seem to be typical of those found in the set. We will then look at three methods of describing how scores within the set vary from these typical scores. Descriptive Statistics Descriptive statistics is the name given to procedures used to collect, classify, summarize, and present data. The methods used by psychologists to collect, classify, and present data are beyond the scope of this discussion. For the remainder of this section, we will be focusing on statistical methods used to summarize psychological research data. Measures of Central Tendency Often, data tends to group itself around some central value. This value may, in turn, be used to describe or represent the data set as a whole. Methods of determining these central values are called measures of central tendency. There are three main measures of central tendency used by psychologists. They are the mean, the median, and the mode. Mean When people talk about averages, they’re often referring to the mean, which is the arithmetic average of a set of scores. You have probably calculated the mean of a set of Psychology score many times in the past. Every time you sum a set of scores and divide that sum by the total number of scores you have calculated the arithmetic mean of those scores. As you probably know from experience, the mean can be affected by extreme scores. For example, if a student were to receive five test marks over 90% and one test mark less than 20%, (let us say marks of 98%, 96%, 94%, 94%, 92%, and 18%), the mean of  496  the test scores would be (98 + 96 + 94 + 94 + 92 + 18) / 6 = 82. Obviously, the mean in this case has been pulled in the direct...
 496 
APPENDIX A:
Statistics for Psychology
Much of psychological research involves measuring observations of particular
characteristics of either a population, or a sample taken from a population. These
measurements yield a set of values or scores, and this set represents the findings of
the research, or data. Often, it is impractical to completely measure the
characteristics of a given population, known as parameters, directly. Thus,
psychologists often focus on the characteristics of samples taken from a population.
These characteristics are called statistics. The psychologist then uses these sample
statistics to make inferences about population parameters.
In this section we will focus on a type of statistics known as descriptive statistics. We
will begin with an examination of three methods of describing a set of data using
scores that seem to be typical of those found in the set. We will then look at three
methods of describing how scores within the set vary from these typical scores.
Descriptive Statistics
Descriptive statistics is the name given to procedures used to collect, classify,
summarize, and present data. The methods used by psychologists to collect, classify,
and present data are beyond the scope of this discussion. For the remainder of this
section, we will be focusing on statistical methods used to summarize psychological
research data.
Measures of Central Tendency
Often, data tends to group itself around some central value. This value may, in turn,
be used to describe or represent the data set as a whole. Methods of determining
these central values are called measures of central tendency. There are three main
measures of central tendency used by psychologists. They are the mean, the median,
and the mode.
Mean
When people talk about averages, they’re often referring to the mean, which is the
arithmetic average of a set of scores. You have probably calculated the mean of a set
of Psychology score many times in the past. Every time you sum a set of scores and
divide that sum by the total number of scores you have calculated the arithmetic
mean of those scores.
As you probably know from experience, the mean can be affected by extreme scores.
For example, if a student were to receive five test marks over 90% and one test mark
less than 20%, (let us say marks of 98%, 96%, 94%, 94%, 92%, and 18%), the mean of
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Statistis for Psy

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